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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12th: OWS Plans to "Occupy" Ports... Why?

I don't think I really understand this:

Occupy ports articles:     Fox News     Washington Post

But first, as always, I must say that I am a believer in the Constitution (as is everyone that runs this blog), and I do believe in the rights granted by the First Amendment. I must restate it here:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

First, where in the First Amendment does it say people have the right to "occupy?" Where does it say they have the right to prevent people from pursuing their happiness? America is a country that allows the rule of the majority to exist while not suppressing the views of the minority. With that, shouldn't the OWS movement understand that some people might not want to hear them? Shouldn't they understand that some people might not agree with their cause? By shutting down the West Coast ports, they are forcing (yes, this is a use of force) their views on other people. In spite of all the detrimental effects this might have (preventing the flow of goods, stopping people from going to their jobs to earn their pay, preventing the receipt of materials from which medicines are made, etc.) this OWS shutdown, to me, is rather selfish. If a group of protesters stands arm-in-arm and prevents me from entering the NYC subway, they are unlawfully detaining me and preventing my free movement as a citizens of this country. Occupying ports is no different. Again, I'm all for peaceful protest, but, in my opinion, this goes too far. 

I don't understand the "occupying" of West Coast ports for numerous reasons, and I'd hopefully like to get some answers:

- Why does OWS think it's okay to prevent hard-working citizens from getting to their jobs?
- What about the detrimental side effects of closing down the ports?
- What are your goals? By doing this, what do you think will happen? Where do you expect to see change? Do you think "Wall Street" or the government will just magically change because you are stopping the flow of goods?
- Why does OWS think it's okay to force their views on those that might not agree? (Both articles listed above state that local longshoremen unions are distancing themselves from the OWS move to occupy ports).

The last question is perhaps the most important. It is okay to peacefully and lawfully protest. It is okay to march. It's okay to be angry at the government, "Wall Street" etc. What's not okay is illegally trespassing, preventing free movement, etc. In my opinion, the police should always remain on the sidelines when protests as a whole are behaving within the law. Police should absolutely step in to ensure the laws are being followed. When OWS begins to "occupy" the ports, I support police involvement to ensure the workers of these ports are able to get to their jobs and perform them in a safe manner. 

I think if OWS wants to make a better case it should stick to means of protesting that do not infringe on the rights of others. They have the right to say what they want to say, but they should remember that people also have a right not to hear it. They should also remember that the innocent, non-involved should not have to have their lives affected too. OWS claims they represent the "99%" but in a democracy, we vote for those who represent us. If the workers of these ports to not support (as many union members said they don't) I don't think OWS should override these workers' preferences and force OWS representation. These are just my opinions, and I would love to hear the views of both OWS supporters and those opposed to it. Thank you.


  1. i work at a port in tacoma washington and i stumbled upon this post. i dont agree with this movement at all. we just want to get to work. dont drag us into your mess occupywallstreet. why are you trying to take away our livelyhoodd?

  2. Thank you Anonymous. From "I'm just barely getting on my feet again after two years, and now I gotta go a day without pay while somebody else has something to say that I'm not really sure is relevant to the cause," trucker Chuck Baca told CNN affiliate KGO."

    This goes with our stance that OWS doesn't speak for all.

  3. These losers to not represent me. I'm trying to get to work. Their course of action is to NOT work. Stop saying you're for me. I can determine what I'm about.

  4. These little whiny punks have no idea waht they are messing with. Go back to mommy and daddys basement, let us port workers get back to work

  5. These are not the 1%'s ports. These are our ports. Understand that and just realize we are fighting to take America back!

  6. Nice blog! Saw you on RP FB! Love your work, especially the piece about the media's unfair treatment of Paul. Will follow!

    Oh yah, OWS had potential, but blew it.

  7. The right to protest should be protected but that right is not a right to infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

  8. To all those posted, thank you. To the most recent anonymous, yes, I absolutely agree with "The right to protest should be protected but that right is not a right to infringe on the rights and freedoms of others."

  9. They are all filthy. Thanks for this blog!

  10. We're gonna need a whole lot of Pepper spray. Hahaha

    But seriously, these idiots need to stop.

    Your are correct.

    It is illegal to "Occupy"

    If you want to "Protest" get a permit stating the time it begins and ends.

    -Snake Plisskin